Wednesday, November 3, 2010

what's your asset as a parent?

asked the "teacher" at ECFE this week. Because I cringe at her lecturing approach to our (supposed) group discussion, I froze in my chair. But some good things came about from this question. Several moms expressed what they see as their assets and it's made me think more about what my assets are too.

I was talking with a friend during a play-date this morning, and I told her I see her asset as how calm she always comes about. She laughed, saying she didn't actually feel much like that before telling me about this morning's disaster at their house. Then she told me that her response to the question had she been "called on" (she's in my "class"), would have been her slapstick sense of humor (her favorite movies are slapstick comedies). So when things get really upside-down around their house, she can sometimes just laugh it off.

Then she asked me what I would have answered. But I still hadn't made up my mind. Some of the things shared by the other moms definitely resonated with me (I too love reading and singing to my child, and share my curiosity about the world with her). And I too can be flexible with my child, seize the teachable moment, and maintain a consistent approach in my parenting.

But what else? What new fun or intriguing interesting stuff could I put on the table? That I love to dance and will often turn on the radio for impromptu dance parties when things get either too much or too saggy? That I'm devoted to my nurturing care for her as I continue to attachment parent, nursing on demand, sharing my bed with her, laying down with her for nap and bedtime till she's asleep, for often more than an hour, including her in all our meals that I cook myself from (mostly) scratch, having never passed her off with baby food or offered her anything else than what's on the table, making a real effort to keep mealtimes as calm and positive?

What I told my friend is that I feel good about how I (unlike my mom) really focus on staying calm for my child, providing her with a sense of safety and security in her home environment (which I craved as a child). My friend agreed to this, but then added that what she really thinks stand out about me is my thoughtfulness; how I'll read all these things about parenting and child development that she finds really interesting when I share them with her.

Wow! Don't you just love a friend like that. What an amazing compliment. I just had to give her an immediate big hug. I guess that's just the academic in me, I responded. Not just as in that's my former career, but as in that's what I've always loved to do. To look into things I'm curious to find out more about, reading, researching, and then passing on what I find out, through talking, writing, finding out more in turn as those I share with respond with their thoughts and experiences.

So, though there was lots about last ECFE "class" that bothered me, something really good came out of it. As our "teacher" said, we talk a lot at ECFE about the joys of who our children are and what they do, but not much about what we like and are proud about when it comes to ourselves (don't you just hate it when somebody who turns you off is right about something?). It's a good exercise, to take inventory of your skills and assets that way.

How about you, what do you see as your assets as a parent? Which ones are you particularly fond of?

1 comment:

  1. I bring lots of assets to parenting, but the one I think about the most often, the one I keep dwelling on, is simply this: that I chose to be a parent. I wanted to be a parent. I chose to become pregnant. Not that I wouldn't have loved the kid if he'd been an accident when I was a teenager, but there would most definitely have been a difference in my approach. And how I felt about it. And what I brought to the table.


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